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The Mini Australian Shepherd is just like the beloved Australian Shepherd, except in a more compact size that makes them fit into many different lifestyles. Mini Aussies are known for their loyalty, intelligence, cuteness, high energy, loving, and hard-working nature.
Basically, they possess most of the standard Aussie qualities. But before you welcome one of these entertaining pups into your home, it’s important to know every important detail about them. Today, we look at one area of dog ownership that will likely affect your lifestyle: shedding. For those with severe pet allergies, this can be a life-threatening situation.
Do Mini Australian Shepherds shed? Yes, they do. These dogs have a medium-length double coat that sheds a moderate to high amount throughout the year. You can also expect increased shedding during certain times of the year. Luckily, their bodies are quite smaller than the standard Aussie, and with a smaller surface area, there is less hair to lose.
Smaller dog breeds are increasing in popularity worldwide, and the Mini Australian Shepherd is no exception. You can’t deny that these small pooches are adorable and irresistible. But don’t be fooled by their small size; they still need love and care as any other canine.
You will need to care for their coats if you don’t want to find hairs floating all over your home. Read on to know how much fur you can expect to see around, when these dogs shed, and what you can do to keep the shedding to an absolute minimum.
How Much Do Mini Australian Shepherds Shed?
Shedding is an everyday part of living with the Mini Aussie. It will shed moderately to high amounts throughout most of the year. You can expect even more shedding when they blow their coats in fall and spring to prepare for the upcoming seasonal changes. That being said, the exact amount of shedding will vary from one dog to the next, depending on genetics, age, time of the year, hormonal changes, nutrition, overall health, etc.
For instance, if you live in snowy areas, you will find they shed less as they try to maintain a heavy coat to help keep them warm. But if you live in areas where summers are long, they will likely shed more to keep a lighter coat for staying cool.
The best way to determine how much your Mini Aussie sheds is to watch them closely. That way, you will know if something is amiss.
Overall, they shed the same amount as the standard Australian Shepherd. But thanks to their small size, they have a small surface area; hence, little fur to shed in the first place. While their small size makes them great apartment dogs, shedding can be very noticeable in such small spaces. But shedding may not be apparent if you live in a large home with a backyard where the doggy spends most of its time.
Why Do Mini Australian Shepherds Shed?
All dogs’ coats go through a growth cycle. They are constantly growing new fur, so the old ones must go somewhere. This is why they shed, to get rid of loose, dead hairs to allow new and healthy hair to regrow. This continuous process occurs throughout the year, hence the moderate shedding year-round.
As mentioned earlier, you will notice increased shedding during certain times of the year. The reason for this increased shedding is to prepare for seasonal changes. They must get rid of excess fur in summer, or they could overheat.
Your Mini Aussie could also be experiencing unnatural shedding caused by an underlying issue. If you notice they are shedding unusually, visit the vet as soon as possible.
Shedding Seasons and Frequency
When do Mini Australian Shepherds shed? These dogs shed all year round, just like their larger counterparts do. Expect increased shedding in fall and spring as they blow their coats, like other double-coated breeds. Towards winter, they grow a thicker coat to help keep them warm during the cold temperatures. And in the lead to summer, they get rid of the thick fur to grow something lighter that can help keep them cool.
Mini Aussies experience seasonal shedding twice a year, although the one leading to summer is the highest since there more hair to lose. The seasonal shedding period usually lasts 2-4 weeks and will require a lot of cleaning to keep your home hair-free.
Although this dog experiences increased shedding, it’s usually predictable. Even then, your pup shouldn’t be shedding in clumps. If you notice your Mini Aussie is shedding unusual amounts, there could be something wrong with them. It’s important to visit your local vet as soon as possible so they can determine the cause and offer possible solutions. Some common causes of unhealthy shedding in dogs include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Parasitic infection
- Fungal and bacterial infection
- Hormonal changes in a pregnant or bitch in heat
- Poor nutrition
- Side effects of certain medications
- Skin infections
Additionally, certain conditions exhibit shedding as one of the symptoms, including immune disease, cancer, kidney or thyroid disorders, and allergies. Unhealthy shedding doesn’t just happen in the form of excessive shedding. What if it’s during the seasonal shedding?
How can you tell if your pup is shedding healthily or not? If the shedding is accompanied by other physical symptoms such as bald spots, brittle and dull hair, open sores, or itching, then that kind of shedding is not good.
What Type of Coat Does A Mini Australian Shepherd Have?
Mini Aussies are double-coated, meaning they have two layers of fur: the top and undercoat. The undercoat is typically short and soft and works to regulate the animal’s body temperature, thus helping to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. On the other hand, the outercoat consists of medium-long, straight to wavy weatherproof fur that offers additional protection against the elements.
The hairs around the face and head are often shorter than those on the rest of the body. And, males usually have a slightly fluffier mane around the neck or behind their heads than their female counterparts.
How to Manage and Reduce Mini Australian Shepherds Shedding?
After understanding how do Mini Australian Shepherds shed, it only makes sense to know how you can manage the situation. There’s no stopping this canine from shedding since it’s a natural process. However, you can do a couple of things to minimize the build-up of hair in your home. It all comes down to two key things: grooming and providing an optimal diet.
Mini Australian Shepherds Grooming
Regular grooming is your first line of defense for keeping as much fur off your floors and furniture, as much as possible. Mini Aussies should be brushed at least three times a week to help prevent mats and capture loose fur before it gets a chance to spread during shedding. While you’re at it, remember to massage your pup to help spread the natural oils of his skin, which in turn encourages healthy coats.
You may need to brush daily during seasonal shedding to keep up with the increased shedding. Do this task outside to prevent the hairs that you release from becoming airborne. Using the right tools is vital for ensuring the grooming is done properly.
A slicker brush is ideal for this medium-long-haired dog. An undercoat rake or de-shedding tool may be worth using during the seasonal shedding because they can reach the undercoat better than a slicker brush.
Mini Australian Shepherds Diet
All dogs require an age-appropriate and nutritious diet to stay healthy. Quality dog food rich in proteins, vitamins, fatty acids like Omega-3, and minerals will encourage a healthy coat that only sheds when necessary. Carbs and grains should only be present in small amounts. The right food and portion will vary depending on the dog’s activity level, weight, size, age, and overall health. Talk with your vet to help you select an optimal diet for your Mini Aussie.
Another simple yet effective way of getting shedding under control is bathing. Like brushing, regularly bathing your pup removes loose, dead hairs before they fall and spread all over the house. It also helps to loosen up the fur for a subsequent brush.
But be careful not to over-bathe your Mini Aussie; doing so will strip their skin of the natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to excessive shedding. Remember to use good quality dog shampoo and never human shampoo.
As mentioned earlier, a proper diet is essential for maintaining healthy fur and minimizing shedding. There are some great supplements that you can add to your canine’s diet to help provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy coat. That being said, always consult with your vet first before making any dietary changes or giving your doggy any supplements.
Are Mini Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?
The information on do Mini Australian Shepherds shed has probably left you wondering whether they are hypoallergenic. This is especially true for allergy sufferers who could experience life-threatening symptoms by touching or simply being in the same vicinity as the dog.
Pet allergies are primarily caused by dander and proteins found in the animal’s saliva and urine. All these elements wind up on the fur and are released into the environment during shedding, where they become airborne.
Mini Aussies are not considered hypoallergenic. They shed moderately to high amounts throughout the year, transmitting high amounts of allergens into the environment.
Living with this breed while suffering mild allergies can be challenging but not impossible. You can do several things to reduce the number of allergens in your home, thus reducing the likelihood of an allergic reaction. This includes:
- Proper grooming
- Proper training: Teach your Aussie to stay away from certain rooms like the bedroom and keep off the furniture.
- No rugs or carpets. Hair and dander can stick to these items and keep the allergens near you. A house with hardwood or vinyl flooring would be best.
- Install HEPA air filters to capture allergens in the air
- Clean your house often, including the dog’s bedding
- Use allergy medication to help manage symptoms
For those with severe allergies, I don’t recommend this breed. Perhaps you should consider dogs that are classified as hypoallergenic such as the Poodle, Maltese, Basenji, Bedlington Terrier, and Giant Schnauzer, to name a few.